Source Code Ultra HD Blu-ray Review

A soldier wakes up in someone else’s body and discovers he’s part of an experimental government program to find the bomber of a commuter train. A mission he has only 8 minutes to complete.

The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/UHD Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

86

Details:

Studio and Year: Lionsgate – 2011
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 94 minutes
Genre: Thriller/Sci-Fi

Disc Format: BD-66
Encoding: HEVC
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Resolution: 2160p/24

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1, Spanish/French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga, Jeffrey Wright
Directed by: Duncan Jones
Music by: Chris Bacon
Written by: Ben Ripley
Region Code: A

Release Date: May 8, 2018

“Make Every Second Count”

My Take:

When decorated soldier Captain Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal) wakes up in the body of an unknown man, he discovers he’s part of a mission to find the bomber of a Chicago commuter train. In an assignment unlike any he’s ever known, he learns he’s part of a government experiment called the Source Code, a program that enables him to cross over into another man’s identity in the last 8 minutes of his life. With a second, much larger target threatening to kill millions in downtown Chicago, Colter re-lives the incident over and over again, gathering clues each time, until he can solve the mystery of who is behind the bombs and prevent the next attack.

I liked Source Code right from the start. It’s not unlike other films that feature a character that must relive an event (s) over and over but, I like its Twilight Zone style theme, human story, and Jake Gyllenhaal, who never disappoints. At 94 minutes the plot unfolds its elements at spot on pacing, allowing a viable connection to both the central character as story arc. Yes, logic doesn’t abound and, frankly it shouldn’t but, that doesn’t derail the inventiveness of its theme. Source Code is a fun, nicely executed piece of escapism that I enjoy. I am glad that it has come to Ultra HD Blu-ray.

Replay Value:

Parental Guide:

The rating is for some violence including disturbing images, and for language.

AUDIO/VIDEO – By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

UHD Presentation(HDR-10): 86
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • HDR: Dark Highlights:
  • HDR: Bright Highlights:
  • HDR: Expanded Color:
  • Resolution: 
  • Visual Impact: 

UHD Presentation (Dolby Vision): 88
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • HDR: Dark Highlights:
  • HDR: Bright Highlights:
  • HDR: Expanded Color:
  • Resolution: 
  • Visual Impact: 

Dolby Atmos Rating: 86
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Level of immersion: 
  • Soundstage integration: 
  • Audio object placement: 
  • Effectiveness: 
  • Entertainment factor: 

Source Code comes to Ultra HD Blu-ray from Lionsgate Home Entertainment featuring 2160pHEVC encoded video and lossless Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1 channel sound.

For its presentation in Ultra HD Source Code was rendered from a 2K DI and up-converted to 4K.

From a cinematic perspective, this film was shot with a specific visual aesthetic in mind and that comes through in this presentation. The Ultra HD presentation bests the 1080p versions in most respects, but the margin isn’t a wide one. Source Code isn’t an overtly colorful film but, the palate of cooler chromatic hues, sepia tones and variants of blue/red/green benefited from UHD’s wider color gamut, appearing a bit more delineated and pleasing to the eye.

Resolution gets a minor boost as well. Close-ups tend to offer improved refinement and deeper resolvable texture on surfaces and physical features when compared to the Blu-ray. There is intermittent use of visual elements that utilize high dynamic range. I wasn’t blown away by its application although some of that may be owed to the nature of the photography.

There are instances where bright elements looked appreciably vibrant. The first time the train explodes is a good example. Alternatively, low level sequences, such as the ones that takes place in the “pod” that Captain Stevens is in, had excellent depth of field, with discernible layers of detail in the background. All in all, I think that Source Code benefitted from the Ultra HD treatment. The improvement isn’t a glaring one, however there are moments where it shines. This is something that those contemplating the upgrade will have to consider.

Dolby Vision vs HDR-10:

I utilize the TCL 55P607 UHD Dolby Vision HDR flat panel in my review system to enable me to compare the visual quality of titles that contained the Dolby Vision metadata versus its HDR-10 counterpart on the same disc. All titles are first watched via my JVC front projector. I then select specific scenes which are watched on the TCL, first via HDR-10 then via Dolby Vision. The TCL isn’t among the top tier flat panels with DV, however it came recommended by AVS Forum Senior Editor Mark Henninger, and calibrates/performs extremely well for a set at its price point.

* The cumulative A/V score will still be based upon the HDR-10 rating, with the DV rating serving as informational only for now.*

Comparing the DV and HDR-10 presentations for Source Code, I found the HDR to be close, but, felt that the DV rendering edged out the HDR-10. Much of this came when comparing the same scenes and finding that the rendering of details in dark backgrounds/shadows was more delineated. I also thought that gradations in the white detail were a bit were easier to see. While I wouldn’t categorize these differences as stark, I definitely felt that the DV rendering was my preference.

In listening to the Dolby Atmos surround mix I found it to be of the moderately active variety, which given the subject matter, was fine. Its use of audio objects placed above is comprised of a mix of atmospherics, panning fills and occasional discrete effects. This is done to good effect when implemented and creates an enriching level of immersion that coincides with the onscreen events nicely. During the various sequences that take place aboard the train as well as each time Captain Stevens is transported back via the Source Code, the track brims with environmental cues and discrete sound effects that adds an enriching layer to the soundtrack.

The music is subtly mixed over the platform so as to add natural depth to its orchestrated elements, without drawing attention away from the thematic details of what is transpiring onscreen. While I thought that the mix did a capable job handling this soundtrack, I would have preferred a bit more emphasis placed on the overhead channels, especially during the moments of heightened suspense. All in all though, this one is solid.

For those not familiar with the details regarding Ultra HD Blu-ray you can refer to my article that includes some pertinent data on the subject. Here is the link:

Ultra HD Blu-ray Has Come to AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Bonus Features:

  • Disc 1: Source Code Ultra HD Blu-ray
  • Disc 2: Source Code Blu-ray
  • (Ultra HD Disc) Audio Commentary with filmmakers and actor Jake Gyllenhaal
  • (Ultra HD Disc) 5 Crazy Details You Might Have Missed
  • (Blu-ray) Legacy Bonus Material
  • Digital Copy

Final Thoughts:

Source Code is an entertaining sci-fi thriller that capably spins its formulaic plot into a worthwhile genre entry. It is making its Ultra HD Blu-ray debut in this Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack from Lionsgate Home Entertainment, featuring a faithful video rendering (which includes Dolby Vision HDR) that makes the most of the source material, a complimentary Dolby Atmos immersive sound mix, and legacy supplemental material. If you’re a fan that is set up for Ultra HDBlu-ray/Dolby Atmos sound, this release is recommended.

 

Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS500 3D/4K Ready High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6-HDR Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen – Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16×9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Electronic Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV7704 Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies – 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo UDP-203 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton “Ergo” and Canton In-Ceiling Series Speakers
SVS Ultra Surrounds (Gloss Finish in Bipolar Configuration)
Dual SVS PC4000 Cylinder Subwoofers
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) – Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
AC Infinity Aircom T8 Component Cooling Systems